On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

Brittany Ballard

Developing Fluency

Rationale: To understand and enjoy reading, students need to learn to read with fluency and efficiency. By learning these skills, students will improve their comprehension and expressive qualities in reading. The goal of this lesson is to have students read faster, smoother, and with more expression. In order to gain fluency the students will complete one-minute readings.



Copies of Jane and Babe for each student

Stopwatch for each pair of students

Chart with sentence (The fat red cat is by the mat.)

Fluency Rubric Chart

One Minute Reading Chart:

Name: __________________________     Date: ______________

1st minute: ________

2nd minute: ________

3rd minute: _________

Fluency Rubric Chart

I noticed that my partner....

After 2nd      After 3rd Reading

         ____                ____                     Remembered more words
         ____                ____                     Read Faster
         ____                ____                     Read Smoother
         ____                ____                     Read with Expression


1.     I will begin the lesson by telling the students how important it is to become a fluent reader.  A fluent reader is someone who recognizes words automatically, reads at a quick pace, and reads with expression.  Today we are going to focus on reading at a quick pace. 


2.    I will read the sentence on the chart to model. I will ask the class "how do you think a beginner reader might read this sentence? That's right. A beginner reader might have some difficulty reading some of the words and therefore take a long time to read the sentence." I will then model how a beginner reader might sound, "Thththe the ffffaaat fat rrreed red ccaat cat is by the mmmaaat mat." Next, I will model how a fluent reader would read this sentence with fluency and expression, "The fat red cat is by the mat!"  I will then ask, "Can anyone tell me the difference between these two types of readers?" After waiting for a response, "that's right, a fluent reader reads without stopping and with expression while a beginner reader takes time to stop and sound out many of the words." I will also ask "which one sounds better to you?" The students will respond and I will say "that's correct the second one, a fluent reader, sounds better."


3.    After we go over what fluency means, I will allow the students to practice reading a new sentence: Ted is mad at the silly rat. Write this sentence on the board: "Ted is mad at the silly rat." The children will practice reading the sentence out loud, and rereading it again and again each time reading it more quickly and with more expression.  Then a few students will be able to come up to the board to model how to read the sentence fluently.


4.    After the students are able to read the sentence fluently, we will start reading the book.  I will model how to read the book first and timed reading. "First, I am going to show you how to read fluently. This book is called Jane and Babe. Jane is a zookeeper at the zoo and Babe is the lion that lives there. In this story, Jane is trying to wake Babe so they can play, but Babe is fast asleep. Let's read this book to find out if Jane is able to wake Babe." After I finish reading Jane and babe we will talk about reading fluently. "Did everyone see how I read the book smoothly and my voice changed?"


5.    Next, I will have the students split up into pairs and take turns reading the story Jane and Babe. I want you to use the silent timer to time your partner as he/she reads the story. After one minute, stop your partner and write on the one minute read chart how many words your partner read during that minute. Repeat this process three times with your reading partner to see if you can improve your reading fluency rate.


6.    To assess the students I will call each student individually and review their fluency checklist they have completed. I will then have each child read Jane and Babe once more to monitor fluency. Once I have checked everyone for fluency, I will discuss with the class the story we read to make sure everyone comprehended the text.


Valerie Vila. Ready, Set, Go!


Murray, B. Developing Reading Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

(1990). Phonics Reader Long Vowel, Jane and Babe. Carson, CA: Educational Insights.

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